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Thread: Agression

  1. #11
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Rolling over and showing their belly doesnít always mean that they are asking for belly rubs. In some contexts, it can be their way of saying, ďLook, Iím really really really NOT going to hurt you. Please please please donít hurt meĒ. It can be very difficult to tell the difference sometimes.

    I agree with Jewel 100% that these trainers are not going to help Cosmo. Performing a harsh leash correction on a dog who is reacting to a person out of fear does NOT teach the dog not to react. It teaches him that bad things happen when he meets new people, which is the opposite of what you want to teach him.

    Also, the idea that Cosmo is behaving this way because you arenít enough of an Alpha-type pack leader is ludicrous, and totally based in WWII era junk science. Dominance theory is the dog worldís equivalent to the flat earth movement. There are Z-list celebrities promoting both, but neither has any basis in real, actual science.

    It looks like there is a CAAB in Mars Hill, NC, which is a bit north of Asheville. The dACVB directory shows two dACVBs at the UGA vet school in Athens, as well as one dACVB in a northern Atlanta suburb. They are all a distance away, but I really do think that they are going to be your best bet at helping Cosmo. If you canít make the drive, then I would strongly advise getting in touch with the dACVB clinic in Austin, TX. The last time I checked, they were still doing remote consults.

    As for the muzzle, I think itís a great idea, so long as you have taken the time to get him properly acclimated to it. If he hasnít been properly muzzle trained, I would definitely keep him away from new people until you can get him muzzled without causing him stress. That stress can contribute to his reactivity. Itís a phenomenon called trigger stacking. I found this article that explains it better than I can:
    https://canineprinciples.com/reactiv...gger-stacking/
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  2. #12
    Puppy (New Member) Crazydogmom's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Hi all,
    Sorry, it's been months but I wanted to post an update on Cosmo. I follow this forum daily because I find all the advice not only reassuring but invaluable in helping me to gauge Cosmo's progress. So thank you all so much!!
    In the past four months, I was fortunate to find a local behavioral trainer as well as a vet behaviorist who is sort of on-call at a distance. Although the behavioral trainer is not as well-credentialed as the ones on the sites recommended by Sebastian's Mom, she has really helped us make great strides. She has taught us to read Cosmo's body language and helped us learn how to turn his attention away from stressors before he goes over his threshold. He really has not had any outbursts since we started and we are slowly adding new people, places and stressors.
    For those who have not been down this road already, it's taken patience and a change in my own behavior but it's worth it. The behaviorist noticed that I tend to "be too friendly" (i.e. talk too much) on our walks, so I wasn't paying enough attention to Cosmo's subtle signs of stress. (I probably would have never noticed that he just lags a little and his ears go slightly back when he's unsure.) I feel like it takes a lot of baby steps to build trust (both ways) but it truly seems to be working. Cosmo's still not perfect by any means but I'm really happy that that he seems so much more content and confident. In addition to my being more aware of his signals, he is also more attentive and responsive to me. I remember thinking I would never be able to "call off" Cosmo when he was barking at someone jogging past our yard but since we've started training, he usually comes back to me when I tell him "enough."
    So those are all the positives...still not quite sure I'm ready to continue on without the support of the behavioral trainer. She seems to feel that he's doing well but inevitably I worry about the "what if's", so not ready to cut the cord yet.
    Anyone have any words of wisdom on how to know when to continue independently (besides when I run out of funds)?

  3. #13
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    i will start out by saying that my previous pyr was no saint. my memory of him says he was the best dog that ever lived. what he taught me was simply this. 6 foot leash max, always expect the unexpected. i believe chicago red or nancy said once that a pyr can go from comatose to catastrophe in a 10th of a second. it is true. the dog always walks in front of me(right or wrong i dont care), i want to be able observe his or her body language. ears, fur, look at what they are looking at, nose picking up something, head turning, reaction to sudden sound, someone approaching on our side of the street, opposite side, reactions day and night. if they act nice when someone approaches do the ears go back and down, do they back up are they looking at them or me. looking for my lead. you should be able to stop and talk to neighbors. i expect when my dog gets board with this to lay down till we continue or at least sit.

    don't let people approach like they are the dogs oldest friend in the world. tell people to stop. it is not ok to come up and just start petting and rubbing my dog. kids that knew and loved jack can not run up to my new girl jazzy. she is a different dog. she is a sneaky snapper. she is anxious. she is fearful. she is a rescue and were both. she has abuse in her past and jack taught me alot.

    these are alot of dog and you have to be a partner. they have to know that your decisions will be good. you have his back and he doesnt always have to be on guard. drop it, wait and enough are great commands. i am glad you and Cosmo are finding success.

    patrick

  4. #14
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Christi's Avatar

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    I cannot urge you enough to follow advice given regarding this issue. I recently had to put my Pyr down due to serious aggression, we knew he had an issue. We were able to manage him well, then we had a situation come up and I could no longer manage him. Please, get the dogs professional help before you too may have to make the same choice I did.

  5. #15
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    Christi I took your advice.
    We had a full lab workup done on her. It came back normal. Jazzy's vet referee her to UGA small animal behaviorist in Athens ga.
    We have an appointment for Nov 29th. I have not received the packet of information yet. I thank you.
    Didn't mean to steal thread.
    Patrick

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